Once Upon a Time . . .

There was a word.

A single word. One that inspired me to write the rudimentary beginnings of a novel.

A word that captured my imagination.

One word is all it took to toss me into the uncharted waters of a new walk with the Lord.

Or did He pull me in?

How can a word change your focus, your direction?

God’s in it!

My husband and I escape the hot Florida summer and drive to our nearly one hundred-year-old house in Loafers Glory, North Carolina.

It’s days later, early morning, I sit on the front porch sipping hot coffee and breathing in the cool, honeysuckle-scented air. I hear the rush and tumble of water over stones in the creek. Hummingbirds buzz, beat the air with tiny wings just a few feet away, piercing the red plastic flower feeder with their long, slender beaks.

So much to be thankful for. Good to rejoice in the Lord in this blessed quiet.

I browse through a magazine, scan articles, glance at ads.

I stop, uncross my legs, and straighten as a word leaps from the page, a full-blown idea follows, enough to drive me to my laptop and meld me to the keyboard for hours.

The word? A name. Trista.

An unusual name. It intrigues, interests, claims my imagination, and instantly shapes itself into an impatient, smart, independent teenaged girl.

And within the time-frame of a fast-moving Nantucket Island thunderstorm, she faces challenges that shake her like reverberating thunder and mold her life. Morph it from familiar to unrecognizable.

Time passes. I change. Trista ages, changes, as does her name. And I’m crazy nuts about this girl, amazed at what she’s going through.

She’s Lexi now, a high school grad.

She gears up to leave for college and tries to stay out of love with Ridge, whom her best friend is in love with. And I yearn and puzzle along with her.

Lexi can handle things . . . her faith is strong. Maybe. Those things get pretty heavy.

I watch as she finds an envelope almost as old as she is. There is more to Lexi’s past than she’s been told.

Lexi’s relationships are challenged. Someone knows more about her heritage than she does, wants what she’s found, and threatens her life to get it. And I detest him!

From her island home to a foreign mountaintop, Lexi’s faith is stretched as her future twists into an incredible mission. She battles time and danger. Is God asking too much?

You decide.

Praising God that The Stonekeepers is published for you to enjoy!

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation . . .” Isaiah 28:16




16 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time . . .

  1. Sally, I loved reading how your idea for the novel began. I am amazed at those of you who have the imagination to get lost in a daydream, so to speak, and let it take you forward on a trip that you discover along the way. I absolutely love how your name is scripted on the front of the book. Is that your actual signature by any chance? It really commands attention. I am excited for you and can’t wait to read your book!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Pat! I loved reading how much you enjoyed the blog post!! I wasn’t so sure anyone would be interested in something like that. The script on the front cover comes from the rich and wondrous talent of Anna O’Brien, who works with Elk Lake Publishing. That wasn’t the only thing lovely she did, but I can’t spoil the surprise for you. I will tell you that it had me in tears when I came upon it. She went the second and third mile to make me happy with the cover art on both the back and front of the book. I’d dearly love to meet her. Thank you for being excited for me and for wanting to read the book. Blessings and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sally, that is breathtaking. I’d not known how you first got the idea for what became “The Stonekeepers” but I remember Trista well. Fascinating to read that she leapt off the page for you, fully formed. You paint the picture of that day at Loafers Glory (such an intriguing name) so well. I like what you said about Anna. She amazed and delighted me, too, with her formatting of my book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Zillah! It’s so much fun being in the world with you–even with you “down under” and me “up over!” ☺ And having our books come out a day apart is amazing. I Only Want to Dance With You is a wonderful book!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Me too, dear Sis! And your faithful prayers and encouragement have always meant so much to me! Missing Loafers Glory right now and wish we could have coffee on the porch again one day soon. ♥


  4. I’m the person who asks just about everyone I meet why and how they chose a certain career. Their stories are so fascinating to me. I loved yours as well, because I know how fiction writing overtakes a brain and characters end up rerouting a day and whispering to us. It’s totally unique experience! I’m so looking forward to reading your book, Sally. 💟

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Bonnie! I’m so happy you stopped by and that you enjoyed hearing the story of The Stonekeepers’ beginnings. I enjoyed reviewing your delightful children’s books on Amazon a few years ago. As a writer yourself, you absolutely pegged what a unique experience it is to write fiction. ☺ And an aside to anyone who reads this reply . . . Bonnie Bruno is a wonderful fine art photographer and digital artist in addition to being an author!


  5. Thank you, Brenda! I know you have loved her and her story for a long time, as you’ve been a wonderful encourager and supporter of my writing for a long time. I so appreciate it and love you. I’ll never forget our road-walk with Lynne and our laughter over Snoopy on top of his doghouse with his typewriter, typing “It was a dark and stormy night . . .” ☺ Sweet memories, dear sister-in-law!


  6. Sally, It seems as if it was years ago when you breathed life into Trista. It was such a great story I loved reading week after week in our writer’s group with Laura. I hope to read “The Stonekeeper” someday as I know you had the story evolve and become exciting and REAL. . And I also know for sure I will like however it became as you moved it from final edit to publish it. You are so brave and creative. I will NEVER forget you. I love you.


    • Thanks, Kathy. I loved those times of sharing everyone’s writing, of how we helped and encouraged each other. Laura was a wonderful leader for us and all of us grew in more ways than just the craft of writing during those years. Laura brought Jamie Buckingham’s desire to nurture new writers into reality for him and I feel all of us who were there, became part of that legacy. Love you too. ☺


  7. Loved this post, Sally! The name changes of the character in your story pretty much parallels the gal in my own debut novel. She started out as Veronica aka Roni, then morphed into Erin. Funny how that happens. Congratulations on your new release! You encourage me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks, Peg!☺ I love hearing about how things change for characters as we write. I remember your Erin and what she went through.Fascinating how our imaginations take hold and shape and create..


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